Episode 319: Don Peterson, Launch Health Accelerator

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By Joel Goldberg. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Don Peterson is the entrepreneur in residence for Launch Health Accelerator, an incubator working on ideas to disrupt and improve the current health care system involving six companies, four of which are led by female founders and CEOs. They have partnered with the Economic Development Corporation of KC and Nueterra Capital.

The cohort visited the Mayo Clinic during the 12-week program.

The companies are MedZERO of KC, WellBrain of San Francisco, TheraWe Connect of KC, Sickweather of KC, Healium by Story UP of Columbia, MO and Spoke Health of Denver.

Website: launchhealthaccelerator.org

Demo day Nov 20, 2019

TRANSCRIPT:

Joel Goldberg: Don, thanks for joining me on the podcast. And that's a title that we don't hear a whole lot about, Entrepreneur in Residence, but then again, you guys are doing something incredibly unique. Really solving some, trying to solve some big time problems, aren't you guys? Don Peterson: Yeah, I think, and thank you Joel, I appreciate being here and I appreciate getting to spend some time with you. The Entrepreneur in Residence title, I think, is really more common to a venture capital fund. And typically that role is filled by somebody who has been an operator in a company, a founder or a CEO, and then exited. And then is kind of, I don't know, on the bench, waiting for that next assignment. Don Peterson: And so, that would probably describe me pretty well. I was fortunate to exit my last company, Infusion Express, about a year and a half ago. And this program started about, for me, it started almost a year ago. So it's been a gas. And yeah, the role of the accelerator is really to find companies who are working hard to come up with ideas that can disrupt and improve our current healthcare system. Don Peterson: And look, we don't have to spend much time talking about the problems in the healthcare system, because everybody kind of knows what they are. If you listen to doctors or insurance companies or patients, everybody's got something to complain about. And so, that creates a lot of opportunity to fix things. And I think the companies we wanted to bring in here were those we thought, well, had a solution to some of these bigger problems. Joel Goldberg: So, you've been running this incubator of, I'm sure, brilliant minds in a 12 week program. What are some of the issues that they're tackling? What are some of the objectives, that these companies are going after? Don Peterson: Well, we have a really diverse group of six companies. Four of them are actually from the Kansas City area. Four of them are led by female founders and CEOs, which is outstanding, we're glad to see that. You know, in healthcare about 70% of the workforce are women, yet in the C-suite, that's inverted. So we're glad to see that these females are stepping up to the plate, grabbing hold of the opportunities and leading the charge to fix these things. Don Peterson: But we have companies that like, locally, Sickweather, they can predict where the flu is going to break out like, 15 weeks in advance. So, if you're going to be traveling to some place and you want to see what the sick score is, you can download their app. I think it's free. Don Peterson: We have one that's fixing the problem of health savings accounts. Your employer is charged with providing you with health care and, well, we know the expenses are out of sight. But the government's created these health savings accounts, but 47 million of the 110 million or so healthcare, or health savings accounts that are out there, are absolutely empty. There's nothing in them. Because we don't know what we're going to spend on healthcare, so we don't want to deduct money from our payroll. We've got to pay rent and gasoline and utilities. So, there's just an incredible... we got a company doing virtual reality, and augmented reality, to help people with stress and pain relief. So it's really a diverse group, and it's exciting to be a part of some of the thought leadership that's here. Joel Goldberg: Well, you know, in some ways it's not surprising to me. I'm reminded all the time, and I think I mentioned this to you but, we're so used to our iPhones, and that type of technology. The iPads, the tablets. And you ask anybody that is 18 years old, 20 years old, and you have to explain to them that this stuff never existed. Joel Goldberg: So, once you're used to it, you do kind of take it for granted. But when I go into, say my kids' school, and they're in high school. And you start to see some of the tools that they have, that they just come to expect. And I sit there and say, "Where was this when we were?" Joel Goldberg: I was visiting for a college meeting, for my son in high school, and the counselor pulls up the program. And it's not just these are the schools, it's, here's the tuition, here's how you can get the financial aid. Here's what they specialize in. Here's what the process is, here's where the application is. And it was like a hundred things that you could possibly know, at your fingertips. And we of course never had anything like that. Don Peterson: Yeah. Joel Goldberg: So now you have all these brilliant minds taking all of this technology trying to solve the problems that, and I guess my question would be, you know, one, how close are they? It's a general question. Don Peterson: Yeah. Joel Goldberg: But two, what took so long? You know, I mean, there is, there's still so many problems out there. Don Peterson: Well, healthcare is uniquely challenged, I guess that's probably a nice, kind euphemism for insular. Filled with very large incumbent companies who like lot, lots of large incumbent companies in any industry, are trying to protect their past, right? "We've created an area of endeavor for us that we're profiting from. And the last thing we want are the barbarians at the gate, trying to break that down." Don Peterson: And so they tend to circle the wagons and become more insular, and more immune to innovation. And I think that's what we looked at, at these companies. The disruptors challenge in this industry is getting distribution before the incumbent figures out they have to innovate. And so that's always the tension. But these companies in particular, we felt, were going to move the needle. Don Peterson: Like you talked about with the experience you had with the college recruiter. You know, in healthcare, you don't know what it's going to cost. It's like going into the restaurant and having dinner, and then a month later somebody sends you a bill for it. And then, oh, it's not just the bill for dinner. Later, you get a bill from somebody who filled the water glasses. And then later, you get a bill from the cook. And later you get a bill from, I don't know, the bus boy who cleaned up after you. In what world would we ever tolerate that? Joel Goldberg: And oh, by the way, then the hostess is spending the next five hours talking to people on the phone, trying to explain it. Don Peterson: There you go. Joel Goldberg: Right? Don Peterson: Yep. That's the problem. And so, we look at any other industry and we go, "Well, we'd never tolerate that in the restaurant business or the hotel business. You know, I'm going to go stay at a nice hotel and a month later, they're going to send me a bill? And then the maid's going to send me a different bill?" But in healthcare, that happens all the time. And so, the companies that we're working with are, I think, really well positioned and poised to make real differences in price transparency and creating value. Lowering the cost of care. Don Peterson: You know, many times lowering the cost of care isn't getting the doctor to charge you less. It's going to the right site of service for the right service. Right? If you go and get an MR, an imaging study done in the hospital, it's going to probably cost you $1200. Whereas, you go down the street to an independent imaging center, and that same exam will cost you $400. Well, the problem is, the consumer just doesn't know that. Joel Goldberg: Right. Don Peterson: And so, that's what we're trying to do is, we're trying to bring that kind of technology like you talked about, to the healthcare industry. Joel Goldberg: Which the consumer, the patient, they'll sign up for that thought in a heartbeat. It's convincing the big boys, right? It's convincing the insurance companies or whoever it is that in the long run, this actually will work for them. But right now where they're at is, at least probably feel, safe. So how do you convince them that this all can be for, not just the greater good? Unfortunately, money sometimes trumps the greater good. Don Peterson: Yeah. Joel Goldberg: So how do you convince them that it's worth their while? Don Peterson: Well, in fact, you don't convince them. You show them. Okay? If I were to sit here and try to convince you that you should change the way you do business after you've been profiting at it for years, you'd think I was an idiot. Right? And maybe rightfully so. What we have to do is show you what's going to happen if you don't change. You know, the old saying, I came from the Silicon Valley area and worked in technology for almost 20 years. And the saying was, "Look, if you're not willing to eat your own lunch, somebody else will." Don Peterson: And in healthcare, that's going to be the case. It's not the case, yet. But what we want to do is, when we look at employers who are now faced with the challenge of providing healthcare for all of their employers. Well, employers are business people, right? You know, they're all businesses. If every vendor at the end of the year came back to them and said, "Hey, next year's pricing is going to be about 35% more than it was last year." Well, they wouldn't put up with that. Right? So when your healthcare insurance company comes back to you and says, "Hey, we're going to charge you 35% more," they go, "Oh, oh, timeout. Tell me why. Tell me what I can do about it. And by the way, if you're not going to help me do something about it, I will." Don Peterson: And so that's really the tip of the spear, I think, in changing the way healthcare is delivered and the way it's priced, is really with the employers who now are saddled with the responsibility of providing that benefit to their employees. It used to be a perk. Now it's a requirement. Joel Goldberg: It's so fascinating. And now, as I mentioned, you have these brilliant minds in these companies that are trying to make a dent. Let's talk a little bit just about the support, the funding and what you've been able to put together here, because I know that that nothing like this happens without the right type of resources. Don Peterson: Yeah. I think that was the magic behind all of this was, when the LaunchKC program decided it needed to morph, and Drew Solomon who's run that program for the last six years, I think he hatched this idea that the grant competition that we've been doing now, needs to morph into something a little bit more hands on. Cutting people a $50,000 check and patting them on the head and saying, "Well, good luck with the rest of that." You know, it just, you don't control the outcomes. So I think the Accelerator puts us in closer touch, and a more intimate relationship with these founders. And now we can actually influence their outcomes in a positive way. Don Peterson: But there is support that the program has gotten from the variety of supporters of the Downtown Council and the EDC of Kansas City and the LaunchKC program. That together with, including Nueterra Capital, who out here in the suburbs of Kansas City has quietly been investing in healthcare for the last 20 years. Bringing them to the table was a big part of the success, and really the framework of what made this Accelerator possible. Joel Goldberg: How did you end up, here? And I want to get into your background and all the success in the tech world, and Silicon Valley and, how did you end up with this? Don Peterson: With this, I think the way it came together was, first Drew Solomon had approached me about potentially helping them architect this Healthcare Accelerator. Not necessarily to run it, but to help them design it. What was needed, how we would select companies, what kinds of disruptions would be most valuable. Don Peterson: Nueterra Capital was an investor, is an investor in my previous company, which now is called IVX Health, but it was IV Express, back when I started at in 2013. And as an investor in that company, when I left and turned the reins over to their lead investor now, McKesson Ventures, which McKesson is for the U.S., the largest healthcare company we have. I sat down with the folks at Nueterra, and we were talking about, "Well, what's Don going to do next?" And I said, "Well, you know, Drew has approached me about running this Accelerator." And they said, "Well, we'd be interested in being a part of that." Don Peterson: And so I got the two parties together, and we worked out a program where Nueterra would invest at least $50,000 in each of these companies. And for many of these companies, it was their first opportunity to sit down with a sophisticated venture capital fund and negotiate a term sheet. Which is really cool, I think many of these companies probably didn't think they would encounter a real venture capital fund. Maybe ever, or not until later in their evolution. So this was really a cool way to bring together two very disparate public entity, or quasi public entity, the LaunchKC program, and then a private venture capital fund and make something really cool happen out of the collision between the two of them. Joel Goldberg: So you said, some of the companies were from Kansas City. Where are the others from, and what was the process like in choosing them? Don Peterson: The two that are out-of-town companies, well one is from Columbia, the four that are local, we think of Columbia as being local because I can drive there and, you know. Joel Goldberg: Sure. Don Peterson: The other two are, one's from San Francisco and the other from Denver. But the selection process was really, we opened up applications, I think in early July. We spent four weeks soliciting those applications and ended up, I think, with about 135 completed applications. And there were probably another 50 or so that were semi completed. And we started calling the companies that we thought we wanted. And I bet we had between the Nueterra Capital people and myself, probably 55, 60 phone calls. Don Peterson: And from that we developed a selection rubric based on, how disruptive could they be? What stage of development were they at? How much capital would they require? And what did we think their longterm prospects were? And through that sort of rubric, we selected these six. Frankly, we were only supposed to take five. And if it was up to me, we would have taken eight. But Nueterra said, "No, no, no Don, we're going to cap this at about 300 grand."- Joel Goldberg: One step at a time. Don Peterson: ... But you know, they, they did that. And again, the 50K was the minimum commitment. I believe some of the companies either have or will get more from Nueterra, than just the 50K. So a floor, but not a ceiling. And that was pretty cool. Joel Goldberg: Yeah, it's really cool. And I mentioned that, I can't imagine you ever envisioned landing here. Maybe over the years that became a little bit more clear, because you could certainly see in looking at your resume that there's a lot that you have done in the past, that certainly would apply to what's going on in here. And looking at the companies that you've been at or run or owned, and there seems to be that tie of technology, oftentimes healthcare, or something in the health industry. So what drove you in that direction? And then tell me about the journey. Don Peterson: Well, for me, coming out of the semiconductor industry in the late 80s and early 90s, I've always been fascinated with technology. I still am. I drive a Tesla, not because I can afford a Tesla, but because to me, it was like somebody strapped wheels on an iPad, you know? It's just the coolest thing. Right? Don Peterson: And so, somewhere in the mid 2000s, after moving... So I was in in the California area, working for a big semiconductor company, and decided I wanted to move my family back to the Midwest. My wife and I are both from the Midwest, and we really felt like we didn't want to raise our kids in California. So we found our way back to Kansas City, and my kids were just starting school as we got here. And now of course, they're all grown and doing their own thing. And my youngest, I think we talked about, is a resident at the Mayo Clinic. Don Peterson: And as far as my wife and I are concerned, everything that we had hoped Kansas City would be for us, as a family? Absolutely came true. This is a tremendous community and we're so grateful to all the things that happened to us here. However, you know it's been a struggle. Technology is tough here, right? I mean, coming from the Silicon Valley area, technology is, well, just not what we do here. And so I've tried to help change that. But for me, healthcare today now is technology based. And in fact every industry is- Joel Goldberg: Sure. Don Peterson: ... One of the things that Drew Solomon came to me and asked me, he goes, "We're thinking about putting a big data Accelerator together." And I said, "No, no, no. Big data is not a vertical industry. Big data is what every industry should be doing, healthcare included." I said, "So if you want to do healthcare, it's going to be technology, anyway." And every one of our companies in this group are all, all of them have a foundation in technology. Don Peterson: And so, for me to have straddled both industries, and I think successfully enough, that I feel confident that I can make a meaningful difference on both sides of that equation. And as I said earlier, the healthcare industry is filled with large incumbents. And if you came from those incumbents, and you want to go start a new company, your brain is a little bit infected with what you know you can't do, because it's never been done. Don Peterson: Where coming at it from the outside, you go, "There are no barriers. We see foolish things going on. We want to go fix them, and we don't care that somebody else has tried a hundred times to do it. We're going to try again." And that's what I love about these companies. Joel Goldberg: You talked about one of the companies that you were recently with, and founded. The IV Express Company. Tell me about that, because it sounds to me like you were able to really solve a problem, or to really improve what can be a difficult situation. Don Peterson: Yeah. IVX, for me was, I think about it now and I can only smile and be proud of what we did. What we set out to do was to move the needle for people with chronic diseases. Mostly autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, MS, who are, if they're getting the right drug therapy, are basically in remission and live a reasonably normal life. And the problem had been is that, all of those patients, or a large number of them, were going to hospitals to get those infusions. Don Peterson: Well unfortunately, as wonderful and as necessary as hospitals are, they don't do that well with chronic patients. They're there, and they're called acute centers for a reason. They handle acute care. The inverse of that is chronic care. And so, we endeavored to pull those patients away from that hospital setting of care, into a more spa-like, warm, private space, that improved their experience by orders of magnitude. Don Peterson: And, while at the time, we knew that if we pulled the therapy out of the hospital, that we could save 30 to 50% on every episode. And as we did that, we realized that there were three important players in the market that we had to please. And I called it the three Ps. Patients. Providers, being the doctors. And payers, being the big insurance companies. And IVX, I think our success was built on the fact that we moved in a positive way all three of those Ps. And now the company has done great. We're expanding and with McKesson's lead, and Health Velocity Capital, the venture funds that have put like 35 or 40 million dollars, in the last two years, we expect to have infusion centers in every major city in America. There's 22 now, and there'll be hopefully 45 by the end of next year, and 75 or 80 the year after. Don Peterson: But I was told, like any other entrepreneur, I was trying to raise money early on. And somebody said, "Well, Don, if this was such a great idea, why isn't there an infusion center on every corner?" And I said, "Well, if there were, we wouldn't be here talking about it. Because it wouldn't be a good idea to do." And we hear that a lot of times with young companies, "Well, gee, if this is so great, why isn't it already on the market?" Well, gee, if it was already in the market, there would be nothing for us to talk about. Joel Goldberg: Right. Don Peterson: Right? That's what innovation is. Somebody's got to be first. Joel Goldberg: There's always a first. Don Peterson: Right. Yeah. Joel Goldberg: Right? And we'll stop talking about it, and you move on to the next thing. Don Peterson: Yeah. Right. Yeah. Joel Goldberg: What about the mobile ultrasounds? Don Peterson: Well, that's how I got into healthcare. So, sometime around 2007, I was working on a project that I was going to take the graphics computing experience we'd had in my first company, DeskStation, and turn that into a clinical decision support system for people... for, well, radiologists principally and cardiologists who had to read a multiple of, some number of imaging studies, every day. Don Peterson: And what we know is that, the radiologists and cardiologists would reach a level of fatigue, after reading so many of them. And what we wanted to create was a system that would at least identify any anomaly inside the imaging, and flag that for the physicians so that hey, at the end of the day, after you've looked at 40 of these things? "Here's some things you might want to look at in this particular study. Don't overlook them, as you get fatigued." Don Peterson: And that led me, but we know what happened to the economy in late 2007, early 2008. And that led me to actually running the big practice that was generating most of the imaging studies we were testing with. And had no intention of ever running that company, or ever being in healthcare. And I spent the next three years doing a deep dive in imaging, and Medicare compliance and all kinds of crazy stuff that I never imagined I'd have to do. Don Peterson: But once you did it, I really was fascinated by it. Fascinated in the sense that, as intellectually challenging as technology and in my area, in semiconductors was, healthcare is as challenging, if not more so, intellectually. And it's infected by cultural and societal things that we, that were just amazing to me, to be a part of. So I, I found it fascinating. Joel Goldberg: So let's talk about the Launch Health Accelerator and the biggest home run you believe that you guys have hit so far. Don Peterson: Well, I think there's at least, out of the six companies, there's at least one serious home run. And in investing, you'd call that a unicorn. I think that the bulk of the companies are all going to be successful, but unfortunately, or maybe that's not the right word. Don Peterson: We live in a digital world now, and digital, or binary, is the one or a zero, right? And so, we've adopted this mentality that you're either successful or you're unsuccessful. I'm either happy or I'm sad, or I'm content or I'm malcontent. Joel Goldberg: You win or lose. Don Peterson: Yeah, it's a win or lose. Everything is binary. And investing is not like that, right? It's an analog. It's not binary. There will be levels of success for each of these companies, and it's hard to predict. Is it going to be a single, a double, a triple, a home run? We don't know, right? But I do believe that at least we have one very likely grand slam in this. And that's really exciting for me. But the others are fun to work with. They're interesting, they're going to make a difference in this world. Don Peterson: A solid double in the healthcare industry, is a slam dunk in the- Joel Goldberg: Even a single, right now. Don Peterson: ... Absolutely. Right? So, it's good. Joel Goldberg: I don't know if that grand slam has anything to do with the Mayo Clinic, if that will be the one, but whether it is or not, you guys have made some progress there, right? Don Peterson: Yeah. We took the cohort up to the Mayo Clinic about three weeks ago, and had a great series of meetings with Mayo Ventures and the head of their surgery department. Some of the people who are building what they call, their destination medical center. We met with several venture capital funds that are up there, looking for Mayo based research and technology that's emanating from the Clinic. But they're also looking at other things, because they recognize they have to have some diversity in that, as well. Don Peterson: So we actually have two of our founders going back up there, in the next couple of weeks, to meet with one of the venture funds that they met up there. One has a pilot that they'll be starting here in early December, using virtual reality to help those who are pre-surgery, who are stressing, or having anxiety about the procedure they're about to have. To help them to relax, and feel more comfortable. Joel Goldberg: Wow. Don Peterson: So, really cool stuff. And yeah, the Mayo Clinic is just an awesome place to be, and it was really exciting to take this cohort up there. Joel Goldberg: All right. How about a swing and a miss, so far? Don Peterson: Well, I'd say that the hardest thing about this was pulling together all of the content, and trying to create a relevant and effective curriculum for these companies. And I'd say that we didn't whiff on it. I don't know that we got it exactly right. And I think if we did anything, it's kind of like sports teams. You know sports really well. If you practice too much, by the time you get to game day, you're a little over it, right? Don Peterson: And you know, the old saying, "Practice like you're going to play, play like you're going to practice.' I think if we did this differently, the next time, it would be that we would probably not meet every week, for 12 weeks. We'd give folks a break. These guys have companies to run. They have other things going on in their lives except sitting here, and, sessions with me and other people listening to us drone on about how the anti kickback statute matters, compliance and HIPAA and all these things. And you know, at some point in time you got to give him a break. And actually let them go back to work. And then they have families, and other considerations. I think we tried to, well we had them drink from a fire hose a little bit too much. And maybe overwhelmed them, a little bit Joel Goldberg: Well, when you're really passionate about something and clearly everybody is, you want to go, go, go. Don Peterson: Yeah. Joel Goldberg: And sometimes the biggest challenge for people that are like that is learning when to just tap that break a little bit. Don Peterson: Yeah. I think, you know, the baseball stuff. The analogy would be, "We entered the bullpen a little bit too early." You know? Joel Goldberg: Yeah. I mean, in baseball terms, "Why isn't he pitching again today?" "Well, he's pitched the last couple of days." "Well, toughed up." "Well wait a minute, I'm not just playing for today. I'm playing for next week and the month after [crosstalk 00:25:18]-" Don Peterson: Exactly. Joel Goldberg: ... but it's all pacing, it's marathon. Don Peterson: Yep. Joel Goldberg: And then, the small ball question. What are the little things that add up to the big things? Don Peterson: Well, I think in any sort of early stage company, the founders, and I was the same way, first couple of companies. I always thought, "Oh, we've got to be successful, we got to be successful." And that kind of binary thinking, right? You know, "We're a failure until we're successful." Don Peterson: Well, what I learned over time, and I tried to help these companies understand is that, entrepreneurship is a process. You have to accept it as a lifestyle, almost, and live with whatever successes you get on a day to day basis. That small ball, every time you get on base, go celebrate that. Every time you get moved and your team moves you to second base, whether it was a sacrifice or not. Sometimes taking one step backwards to move two steps forward is actually not a bad thing, right? You'll take the out, to move your batter in the scoring position. Don Peterson: I think that's the kind of processing, that's why small ball is such a great analogy for what we do here. It's really about advancing the play, keeping the line moving as we used to say in what was it, '14, '15, when the Royals were in the Series? You know, keep the line moving. And that's an important lesson and really, the process for entrepreneurship is, just keep the ball moving. Every day, make a step towards your goal. And every night go to bed thinking, "Okay, I made progress towards my goal." Or ask yourself, "Did we? And what can I do tomorrow to make yet another small step?" I call it baby steps. Any baby step forward, is better than the day before. Joel Goldberg: Okay. Four final questions, as we round the bases, you had the cohort or have them hanging out in a unique environment or location. Tell me about the mansion. Don Peterson: Ah, the mansion. Well, that was, I guess the thought that I had that I really believe that, and we kind of joked about it. It was like the road rules or whatever you [crosstalk 00:27:17]- Joel Goldberg: Yeah, Real World- Don Peterson: ... Real World for startups. But I really felt like [crosstalk 00:27:16]- Joel Goldberg: With a much higher level of intelligence, I think. Don Peterson: ... I hope so, I hope so. Yeah. And a lot less alcohol. Joel Goldberg: Yes. Don Peterson: But it was really similar in the sense that, you really wanted these folks to collide with one another in a social relaxed, informal environment where, because I've been through it, right? I can tell you, being CEO of a startup and not having others you can share your struggles with, it's a lonely ass job. Sorry. It's a lonely job. I think that having them together, in the same house, where they could work and play and sleep and they, well, they'd put their feet up, take their hair down and really be honest and share. Don Peterson: And I think that if you ask any of the people in the cohort, they would say that that was one of the best parts, and has been one of the best parts, of this whole program. Is that, being together in an informal environment where they could share their war stories and their horror stories, and even their successes, that others would understand. That's a pretty cool thing. Joel Goldberg: It's a level of vulnerability and honesty that you don't find in the business world, or the, because everybody's trying to outdo everyone. And now you have this trust that's been built. Don Peterson: Yeah, part of it's a practical consideration, right? I'm not going to go into the office where I've got three or four of my people that I've got living on fumes and we're worried about raising money. I can't go in there and go, "Wow, I'm really not sure about tomorrow. I'm really stressed. I'm really anxious about what's going to happen." Don Peterson: You can't do that. You've got to go in, and you've got to be upbeat and positive and optimistic. So when you do get with people who understand what you're going through, it is nice to be able to share and say, "Man, that was a tough day. That was a bad beat. We got beat up pretty badly. How are we going to get back, pull ourselves up and get going again?" Don Peterson: And I'm sure sports teams go through that all the time, right? They'd take a bad beating from a team that they thought they were going to handle, and they got handled. You got to beat yourself up over that. And that happens in entrepreneurship, all the time. "Oh, we lost that sale. We didn't hire that person. We didn't get this thing done." And you just can't be beat yourself up too badly. Then you've got to get up next week, and get back in the game. Joel Goldberg: Do it again. Don Peterson: Yeah. Joel Goldberg: Yeah, there's a lot of second guessing. Don Peterson: Yeah. Joel Goldberg: Second question. As we round the bases, I'll throw you a curve ball on this one- Don Peterson: Go ahead. Joel Goldberg: ... but, being a tech guy, and then he talks about the Tesla. You got a favorite toy? Don Peterson: Oh, my iPad is my favorite toy. I almost go nowhere without it. It's like, it's attached to me. Joel Goldberg: Same. Don Peterson: And, it's my window into the rest of the world. So when I have a moment, and I want to see what's going on in the news, I can go look. If I hear of something that I am unfamiliar with, I can go look it up. I have this insecurity about, it's not about the fear of missing out thing. It's the fear of not knowing. It's the fear of being uninformed. And so, it gives me an opportunity to get informed as quickly as I want to. I can sit here in these sessions with these folks and these wonderful speakers are there, and they say something. I'm like, "I don't know what that is." And I can go look it up. And I go, "Oh, that's what that is. Okay, great." So yes, my favorite toy is my iPad. Joel Goldberg: Only one way to find out, right? Don Peterson: Yeah, right. Got to go look it up. Joel Goldberg: By looking it up, and we all have that nowadays. It's called Google, and other things. Don Peterson: Right. Joel Goldberg: Third question. Throughout this whole process, what have you learned? Don Peterson: Ah, well I've learned that- Joel Goldberg: It's a general question, because I know you can list off a lot of things. Don Peterson: Yeah, I can make a big list out of that, but I think the thing that I've learned the most is that, brokering a relationship with the public and private side of things is not always easy. It's not always straightforward. As simple as it sounds in the beginning, it's filled with complexities and I guess I didn't anticipate a lot of that. But, you know, you work through it. It's like any other problem, in startups. Don Peterson: And I will say this, you didn't ask me this question, but I think it's an important answer. That the best part of this whole program for me has been the fact that it's like a startup. You know, it's like building, I'm a builder. I like building things. And the fact that I got to build this from a blank sheet of paper into what it's become, I'm delighted with the fact that I had the opportunity to do it, that the city came to me and asked me to do this. I'm delighted that Nueterra decided to join in and help support this thing. But I got to tell you I'm most pleased with the fact that the program came together, and has really helped these young companies. And as a startup builder, this to me was like, another startup with now, next week, we'll have a, in my opinion, a very successful outcome. Joel Goldberg: And so for people listening in, you know, the way the podcasting world works is, people maybe listening to this in 2021, and so, may be able to go back and look at it. Can we mention who these companies are, or? Don Peterson: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. Joel Goldberg: Because you know, and you talked about this week, so this will be released on November 18th, I release on Mondays. And so, Demo Day is November 20th. So if people are listening to this the day the podcast came out, or Tuesday and Wednesday, there's some big stuff going on right now. But it could be 2022, 2021, whatever. And they're going to want to look back and say, "I wonder how that company is doing." So, who are the companies? Don Peterson: So let me see if I can name them in alphabetical order, but I probably can't. Don Peterson: MedZERO is the company doing the solving the HSA, the health savings account problem. Don Peterson: We've got WellBrain, who is providing mindfulness environments on your iPad or your iPhone, to help you to deal with chronic pain. And they've shown a dramatic reduction in chronic pain, just with some guided meditation and things like that. Don Peterson: TheraWe Connect connects providers or therapists with children with special developmental needs and, it's a scary world for the parents, especially. And it helps connect the parents and the providers and the children, all together in one place. Don Peterson: Sick Weather, I think I mentioned earlier is the one who's predicting the flu. But they can actually track 26 different conditions. Cough, whooping cough, things like that. And report on where those areas in the world, those things are breaking out, more so. Don Peterson: So we have Helium by Story Up, the product is helium, the company is Story Up, and they're the ones with the virtual reality stress relief and anxiety relief environments. They actually track your brain activity, and give you a biofeedback in the moment, so you can help calm yourself down. And they have a augmented reality environment that does the same. It's really cool. Don Peterson: And Spoke Health, they're the company out of Denver, and Spoke, they help self insured employers. So we talked about self insured employers, they help connect self insured employers to providers directly, and in some cases, bypassing the insurance companies. Who have, as I said, pulled the past forward with them. So that employers can help control and contain costs, for very expensive episodes of care. Joel Goldberg: Pretty fascinating. And so, I'll wrap it up with the walk-off question. What's next now that the first installment is done? Don Peterson: That's a great question. You don't always know what's next exactly. But the plan is that Nueterra Capital is, I'm working with them, and raising a seed capital fund. So they've enjoyed this process so much that they want to actually create a fund dedicated to earlier stage healthcare companies. And so, they've asked me to stay on in the same role, I think the same title. And help them source deals and connect companies to other prospective investors, so that Nueterra and other investors can get behind these young companies. Don Peterson: And so I see the next year, helping to create that fund and helping them invest that capital. And I think we'll be incubating those companies, as we bring them in. And if we can partner with the city in the future, to do another cohort like this, if we're in the business of providing that seed capital, then we'll likely get back involved with the city and do this one more time. Joel Goldberg: Yeah. It's making a huge impact, I'm excited to see the progress of all of those companies. And then, if people want to check out some of the progress, and we've listed the companies there, there's a website for Launch Health Accelerator, right? Don Peterson: Yeah. It's launchhealthaccelerator.org. If you want to attend the Demo Day, coming up on November 20th, just go to Eventbrite and search on Launch Health Accelerator. And the tickets are free, and we'll have it at the Alamo Drafthouse, in a big auditorium with a couple of hundred people, and drinks and hors d'oeuvres and all the fanfare to go with it. Joel Goldberg: And a big day for a lot of folks that have put in a lot of work. And certainly, a lot of others that have invested time, money, and resources. So congratulations, on all of this. You guys are going after something that needs a lot of help, and more help to come, I'm sure. So thanks for sitting down, Don, and best of luck. Don Peterson: Thanks, Joel, I appreciate it. Joel Goldberg: All right, that's Don Peterson. My name is Joel Goldberg. You can reach me at joelgoldbergmedia.com. Hope to catch you next time on Rounding the Bases.

83 episodes